High-speed, free Wi-Fi for the city centre has long been a burning ambition for this local authority so news that it’s just months away represents a massive leap forward for Aberdeen.
It will propel us ahead of other UK cities and put us on an equal footing with digital thought leaders like Seoul and Singapore.
Most importantly, it will provide Aberdeen with a huge competitive advantage as potential investors look to grow their business in cities with world class digital infrastructure.
This £50 million programme of digital regeneration will deliver massive benefits for business, the general public and even schools as technology increasingly becomes a vital tool in education.
By this autumn, free wireless connectivity will be accessible for users in the city centre. And moving beyond the city centre, we also intend to trial a free Wi-Fi programme in Northfield – one of several key regeneration areas identified by Aberdeen City Council for extra investment. This will make a huge difference to people living in those communities.
With these ambitious plans, we are making a real statement to the global business community in terms of stimulating and attracting new investment into the city. This is what we mean when we talk about building a new digital economy. It also plays to this local authority’s vision and commitment, as set out in 2012, to make Aberdeen a smarter city.
And by partnering with the private sector, we are also telegraphing a massive shift in the way Aberdeen City Council does business. As well as projects for the city like free Wi-Fi, we are also transforming our own internal digital infrastructure which will allow businesses to plug in and utilise our networks and digital estate for their own commercial purposes.
This is a genuine partnership between the private and public sectors with Aberdeen City Council at the heart of the transformation.
The speed at which we are evolving demonstrates just how serious we are about giving Aberdeen the infrastructure it needs to keep pace with other global cities.
We’re not hanging around here. The changes taking place over the coming months are laying the foundations for a truly great digital city and we expect others, both in the UK and around the world, to follow our lead as they develop systems of their own.